I knew a girl, once. I did not know her well, but she came to know me and therefore, somehow, I felt as though I knew her. She was a lovely sort of aloof in person, and she had a put-me-at-ease smile. I knew her by her words and her connections and not much else, but it meant the world to feel included. I considered myself guilty by association, and it was almost as glorious as I'd imagined. I wanted to follow her through the night until the sky looked like two painters came together to create the clouds in separate styles.
I knew a girl, once, when the world was falling into rivers. I looked for her, and I've still yet to be able to justify it. I lusted for a piece of her heart, because I knew it was broken and I've always been the one to make beauty of a shattered mirror. I wanted to believe that if I could just make her love me, then both of our lives would be healed.
I knew a girl, once, and she was as sad I've ever known a person to be. Try as she did to be happy for the ones who surrounded her, the ache within her diffused through her fingertips to mine. She despised the hurt she found in the eyes, so she was the face of comfort and the arms of welcome and the shoulder of solace. I saw within her and I craved it. My depth perception was inaccurate as always, but the things hardest to let go of are the ones that do not make sense.
I knew a girl, once, when the past's ruins were crumbling, and I imagined her by the sea, because I knew the water would be salty. I didn't want to ask - it wasn't my place - but I still wonder if we might both be better off if I had. She was heavy with the weight of words unsaid and the responsibility of an old soul. I wanted nothing more, for those unbearable seconds, than to add to her burden by offering to share it.
I knew a girl, once. She had a mind a universe long, and a heart that would have sheltered the world, though it wouldn't have been able to take it. I knew a girl, or, I thought I did. She was beautiful and aching, and though she did not know, I would have loved her, if only she had let me.